LNH?: Burst Beetle Tweseveny #1: "2018: The End of Hope, The Beginning of the Future!"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 13:04:55 PDT 2018

Glenda Gwynnych was trying to hang onto her happiness and it wasn't going well.

She was a supervisor in a Microsoft satellite campus, overseeing a bunch of 
underpaid QA people doing terrible, grinding work. She wore beige skirts and 
sensible blouses every day, and told people they had to follow sensible, 
terrible, grinding rules.

She was allowed one quirk, and she chose oversized novelty belt buckles. They 
were big and chunky and sparkly, and when she looked down at them it managed to 
lift her up head up half an inch above water.

When she got home, she fed her cat, who loved her very much but was worried 
about her. She made herself dinner, and she got on the computer.

Once, she used to write on it! A long time ago, she had been part of something - 
she had been writing stupid stories about superheroes on the Internet!

But she got distracted, and stopped, she got serious about her studies, and then 
about getting a job, and she always meant to get back to it, but it wouldn't 
make her money, and the people outside of her and the people inside her head 
kept pushing her away, pushing her away...

And now she just sat here, and scrolled thru social media! People she followed 
she didn't even like! Ads that were selling terrible things to nobody! Stuff she 
didn't even follow but popped up on her feed anyway that was trying to 
manipulate her into doing something dreadful!

And she knew that the stupid stories were still out there! That goofy bullshit 
and joy were still out there!

But they weren't hers anymore. It never would be.

It hit her all at once. She collapsed on her bed, sobbing. Her cat came over and 
curled around her legs.

She reached out and grabbed the phone, and whispered, voice dripping with tears, 
"Please. Please let me have it back. Please."

And coming out of the phone, she heard a noise she hadn't heard in years. A 
tweeting, buzzling, burbling noise. The noise of an old-school dial-up modem - 
28.8K, just like the one she'd had in high school.

And in the noise of the modem she heard a message. A secret. What she had to do.

"Yes... Yes! You're right!" She ran over to the dresser and threw it open, 
dumping the belt buckles on to the floor. "Look at what they've done to the 
Internet of 2018!" She grabbed an old broken clock-radio and threw it on the 
pile. "Look at what they've done to *me*!"

She followed the instructions of the mysterious acoustic signal, metal and 
circuits reshaping under her hands. Soon, she had a rectangular belt buckle of 
silvery metal, with the LED faceplate of the clock-radio on it, amber numbers 
blinking 00:00. A row of little sparkling gems in various colors ran along the 
bottom, red-pink-yellow-green-blue. It was thick, jutting out from her waist, 
and there was a space in it just big enough for her phone.

"Yes, and now..." She pressed the blue gem, and it lit up, the clock face 
changing to the impossible time of 19:92. "The past." She grabbed her phone. On 
it in a big, friendly, easy-to-read font was the number 2019. "The future! I 
barely have any... but one year will be enough!"

She flicked her finger over the surface of the phone. The voice recognition 
interface came up, her words making the little bars rise and fall.

"Return to the past!" she shouted. "Return to the days of my youth... return 
to... 1997!"

The numbers on the phone shivered, and with a pleasing fade became 1997. She 
pushed the pink gem and slammed the phone into her belt buckle, and it squealed 
with noise, dialing up once more. The digital clock flipped to 19:97, and the 
alarm began ringing.

Her surroundings started melting away, yellow streetlight outside mixing with 
flourescent blue kitchen lights. The colors spun and whirled.

 From nowhere, a long sheet of paper, ancient printer paper with tearaway holes 
on the edges and lines of green over it, streamed in, wrapping around her, layer 
after layer, and then burst off.

She was in amazing armor, like a beetle's carapace in human form. Amber trim 
glowed softly on black, on the edges of great big boots and great big gauntlets. 
Her left shoulderpad was a stylized number 2, and her right a stylized number 7. 
She had a visor jutting out over her brow, shaped like wide eyes looking with 
eagerness into the future, and there was a crest on her forehead in the shape of 
a V.

She could no longer feel the coldness in her belly of having to go to work 
tomorrow. The certainty of decades that she had to do endless meaningless work 
melted like the morning dew. Now she felt purpose! Now she felt light!

"My name is no longer Glenda Gwynnych," she proclaimed to infinity. "My name is 
Burst Beetle Twesenveny... and I swear on the squeal of this modem that I will 
bring pointless goofing-off back to the Net!"

Author's Note: A new series where I'm going to try and recapture the early-LNH 
spirit of writing fun, silly stuff off the top of one's head, and focusing more 
on the fun of the moment than on some metaplot. Also: A parody of Kamen Rider 
Zi-O, because I started watching that! :D

Drew "yes, tweseveny" Perron

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